Bhakti is the yoga of love and devotion, and it is based on the belief that “love is God and God is love.” It is an intense love for God (the divine) and a yearning to experience love in is highest form, as often as possible. Bhakti yoga is also the practice of Ishvara Pranidhana, the fifth niyama. Ishvara Pranidhana is living in a state of surrender and devotion and acknowledging something bigger than yourself; call it God, higher power, goddess, krishna…
Bhakti yoga, like all traditions, can be practiced on and off the yoga mat. Below are a handful of practices to cultivate love and devotion in your practice:
- Asana - dedicate your practice to someone or something (a higher calling).
- Meditate - spend moments in solitude committing to love, grace, devotion, and surrender.
- Pranayama - practicing breathwork connects you to your spirit which is the divine. I repeat, your spirit is the divine.
- Devote yourself to a deity. Call upon a god or goddess for clarity, guidance, and support.
- Create a puja, an altar, at which you can sit and reflect upon to what you are devoted.
If the practice of Bhakti speaks to you, seek it out. And also, love more. In general, just love more.
DISCLAIMER: I have practiced bhakti yoga as a student for 10+ years and have studied it from the seat of a teacher for the past two years. I embrace being a learner in this lifetime and bow to my teachers, their teachers, and their teachers’ teachers.
By Liz Skarvelis; All Rights Reserved @2019